The GAT-X105 was one of the five prototype mobile suits produced by the neutral nation of Orb Union for the Earth Alliance who, by the time of completion had been at war with ZAFT for eleven months of the year 70 of the Cosmic Era. Unfortunately, ZAFT agents infiltrated Heliopolis (the colony on which the suits were developed) and managed to steal four out of the five suits. Only GAT-X105, known as Strike, remained in the hands of the Alliance, and more specifically, Kira Yamato, a young coordinator. Strike was unique in that it had three different weapon packs that could be used for specific tactical situations. There was the Launcher pack, which included a large artillery beam cannon; the Sword Striker pack, which featured a very large beam blade meant for destroying enemy ships; and finally the Aile pack, which gave Strike excellent mobility as well as two beam sabers, a beam rifle and a shield with an anti-beam coating. The only standard issue weapons Strike has without a Striker pack are two armor schneiders (basically mobile suit-sized switchblades), head-mounted vulcan cannons and phase shift armor. Strike is battery powered, because early in the war ZAFT employed Neutron Jammers, which suppresses nuclear power (rendering nuclear weapons useless as well). Because of this, Strike has a limited operating time. Officially, the only person who referred to Strike as 'Gundam' was it's pilot, Kira Yamato, who got the name from the words the flashed by when the operating system started up, "General Unilateral Neuro-link Dispersive Autonomic Maneuver".
Strike is, of course, the star Gundam in the newest alternate universe Gundam series Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (at least it was until it got replaced by Freedom Gundam halfway through). Originally, when they announced this kit I wasn't all that enthusiastic, Strike was never my favorite Gundam design. But somehow, those pictures on the box drew me in, it looked so nice with that Aile pack, and the stand was a definite plus, why hasn't that been done before? Pretty much every Gundam spent half it's time in space, so why are we always forced to make due with gravity based poses (unless you feel like messing around with fishing line or something)? But seriously, the stand is very nice. The building process was pretty smooth, there were no real tricky parts. Once you got the frame of each appendage built, the armor just snaps on over it. I'm a bit indifferent towards this patchwork-like armor style, in some ways it's pretty cool, but in places like the top of the shoulders and part of the upper forearm, where there is no armor, it looks kind of unfinished to me. I'm also no fan of long side-skirt armor (reminds me too much of Gundam Wing), but at least it does have a purpose on Strike (that's where the armor schneiders are kept). I also wish that fins covering the exhaust nozzles on the Aile pack's main engines were separate from said nozzles (so you could properly paint them, rather than trying to reach in between the little fins). One change I did make to the design was to paint Strike's eyes green, rather than yellow. Let's just say I did it so it would match with the others. The stand that came with it is actually a model of the launch deck of the Archangel, complete with moving foot clamps and an umbilical cable. Accessories included the two folding armor schneiders, the shield, beam rifle, two beam sabers and the Aile pack. There weren't a whole lot of panel lines to fill in, mostly due to the protruding frame. In fact, Strike looks pretty good straight out of the box. All in all, if you're a fan of the design, you can't go wrong with this one.